Michael Scherer

Michael Scherer is the Washington Bureau Chief for TIME.

Articles from Contributor

Last Weekend’s Political Whopper

This is the season of political whoppers–apparent falsehoods told in the public sphere with a straight face. The pols and their assassin surrogates twist and turn the truth to the breaking point. They aim for the kneecaps while pretending to reach for the stars. There are gradations of awfulness, but as a rule, no campaign is above the …

The Two Sides of McCain’s South Carolina Campaign

On Friday, John McCain told reporters on his campaign bus that he had issued a clear directive to his people about negative campaigning: “Don’t.”

His chief ally in the state, Sen. Lindsey Graham, elaborated. “You don’t need to tear anybody else down to get the votes for John McCain,” he said, as the bus approached Mt. Pleasant, S.C. …

McCain on the Religious Right

A stray moment from my notebook: Yesterday on the bus with John McCain the talk turned to the evangelical Christian vote in South Carolina.

“The greatest fear of evangelicals is radical Islamic extremism,” McCain told us, focusing on his own national security strengths. Then he corrected himself. “That is their greatest–not fear. That …

The Morning After: A GOP debate in review

What did happen:

1. Mitt Romney tried to score points on John McCain, but only landed glancing blows.
2. McCain tried to soar above Romney by mostly declining to engage.
3. Mike Huckabee brought up traditional marriage, a topic he avoided in New Hampshire.
4. Ron Paul got both boos and cheers.
5. Fred Thompson hit Huckabee hard, over …

Ed Rollins Unleashed

Early in tonight’s debate, Fred Thompson claimed that Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager had declared the Reagan coalition “over.” Thompson was wrong. It was Huckabee’s national chairman, Ed Rollins, who was quoted saying that the coalition was “gone.” For the full context of the comment see here.

I saw Rollins in the hallway after the …

South Carolina Huck-pectations

A couple hours before Republicans debate here in Myrtle Beach, Mike Huckabee got up on the back of a red pickup truck (take that Fred Thompson) and set the bar high for his campaign here. “We’ve got to win South Carolina,” he said, before about a hundred supporters, many of them dressed in white Fair Tax sweatshirts. “And you are going …

Romney Knows New Hampshire

Huckabee called both McCain and Romney tonight from the bus to congratulate them. According to Bob Wickers, Huckabee’s media guy, Romney never called Huckabee after Iowa. Huckabee will debut a new Michigan targeted ad tomorrow. Would not discuss substance but it has got to be the economy. Also up in SC with “our values” and “secure our …

Rudy Concedes

I am at the Huck a party, but Rudy just gave his concession, starting just after 8:10, which was broadcast over WMUR. The network split the screen and projected McCain the winner just as Giuliani said, “I don’t think it has been officially called.”

“This is just the beginning,” Rudy told his crowd, even though it may well be the …

The Other Effect of a Hillary Loss in NH

I just got a call from a conservative marketing consultant I know. He is in a panic. “I am in the midst of a major crisis with a lot of people,” he said. “Hillary Clinton is going to die today. Do you know what that means for conservative fundraising all over America?”

I do. Big trouble. For most of the year, Hillary has been the only …

Reexamining Rudy’s Florida Strategy

For months now, the campaign of Rudy Giuliani has been trying to get America to stop paying attention. Don’t worry about the former New York mayor’s declining state and national polls. Don’t mind the winners of the early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina. Don’t even focus too much on all the mayor’s thin …

Huckabee’s Photo-Op Campaign

When the railbirds close the book on the 2008 Republican nomination fight, someone will have to figure out whether or not Mike Huckabee’s photo-op campaign made any sense. Here he is, as talented a political orator as America has seen in a decade, and he spends much of his day creating fun pictures for the local news in Iowa and New …

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